Public confidence in social work 'is Paramount'

Association of Directors of Adult Social Services
Association of Directors of Children's Services 
Date: November 4, 2009
Embargo: Immediate

Directors and senior managers of childrens and adult social services have welcomed todays review* of the GSCC by the Council for Healthcare Regulatory Excellence - both broadly, and in much of its detail.

According to the Presidents of both Associations, the report highlights a number of very significant areas for improvement, which will be received by GSCC with concern, and a determination to respond positively to the actions required of them.

Both Kim Bromley-Derry, President of ADCS, and Jenny Owen, President of ADASS, emphasised that the key to the review, and whatever subsequent action is taken by the Council and by government, is public confidence.

In a joint statement, both Presidents said: ADASS and ADCS are committed to excellence in the social work profession and in its practice. Public confidence in the regulatory system lies at the heart of the publics perception of the work we do.

They stressed as well their belief that social work professionals everywhere should have that same confidence in the regulatory system as do their employers, the government and the wider public. It is absolutely critical that we, as employers of social workers, stand alongside them, the Council itself, and the Department of Health in demanding that the regulation of the profession matches the same high standards of work we demand from social workers.

This, they said, is an aspiration which needs to be communicated to the social care workforce as well as to the public.

Both noted recommendations in the review which seek closer relationships between the Council and social work employers, and which foresee a greater financial independence, and more streamlined accountability processes than it does at present.

In the light of current speculation about the emergence of a body such as a National College for Social Work we feel it best to await the outcome of the deliberations of the Social Work Taskforce before making a more detailed response to these points, they said.

Kim Bromley-Derry added: This is an excellent opportunity to review the regulatory arrangements for social work. It is critical that we have a robust and coherent system in which Politicians, Professionals and the public can have confidence. ADCS will seek to work closely with the appropriate agencies to support implementation of the CHRE recommendations.

Jenny Owen said: This is an extremely important review, coming at an extremely important time for social work and the statutory agencies which employ the vast majority of them. We accept the broad direction of travel the CHRE has taken: it is a sensible one. We will seek to work closely with the DH and the GSCC and other parties over the coming months to flesh out the detail and develop some of the themes the CHRE has set running.


For further information, contact:

Jenny Owen, President, ADASS, 01245 434806
Kim Bromley-Derry, President, ADCS, 020 3373 7412
Rebecca Godar, ADCS 0161 8385763
Drew Clode, 020 8348 5023

Pictures of both Presidents available on request
* ADCS is the national leadership organisation in England for directors of  childrens services appointed under the provisions of the Children Act 2004 and for other childrens services professionals in leadership roles. The Association provides a national voice as a champion for children, with local and central government, and with the public.

* The Association of Directors of Adult Social Services (ADASS) represents
directors of adult social services in local authorities in England. DASS's have statutory responsibilities for the social care of older people and adults with disabilities, while over 50 per cent also run social housing departments. ADASS members might also share a number of responsibilities for the provision and/or commissioning of leisure, library, culture and arts services within their councils.

* Review of the Conduct Function of the GSCC, Council for Healthcare Regulatory Excellence, October 2009